Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community

James E. Dowd ’54

James Edward Dowd, 86, died peacefully on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. James was the eighth child born to the late Jack and Grace (McGowen) Dowd of Worcester and had fond memories of growing up on Westover Air Force Base with his 12 siblings. He attended St. Patrick’s Elementary School in Chicopee, Cathedral High School, Williston Academy and graduated from Fordham University in 1958, where he studied a year abroad in Avignon, France. James attended Boston College Law School and received his law degree from Western New England Law School in 1965. He worked in both private practice and with the City of Springfield in the roles of City Solicitor and Labor Relations. James married Maureen Coughlin in October of 1958 and lived most of his life in Springfield. James was predeceased by his beloved wife of 49 years in 2007. He is survived by his son Michael Dowd and his wife Regina of Southport, CT, daughters; Patricia Lutch and her husband Scott of Milton, MA and Sheila Byrne and her husband Stephen of Longmeadow, sisters Dorothy McMahon of East Longmeadow and Eileen O’Keefe of Ware, grandchildren; James, Kelly, Ryan, Matthew, Kelsey, Brendan and Eamonn and two great granddaughters; Rose and Victoria. In addition to his wife, James was also predeceased by his son James E. Dowd, Jr. in 1978 and his grandson Sean M. Byrne in 2017. Visitation will be held on Sunday, February 28th from 2:00 – 5:00 PM at Wilbraham Funeral Home, 2551 Boston Rd., Wilbraham. Family and friends may meet for James’ Funeral Mass on Monday at 10:00 AM at St. Mary’s Church, 519 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow. Burial will follow in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Springfield. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Sean Byrne Music Foundation, 17 Cherry Lane, Longmeadow, MA 01106.

Nina Hart Griffiths ’67

Nina Hart Griffiths, actor, singer-songwriter, airline pilot. Daughter of Joan Hart and Everett Hart, born in New York City on November 27, 1949; died in Miami, FL on December 23, 2020. She wrote and performed the hit song “I Believe in Love” in Milos Forman’s 1971 film “Taking Off,” played Meredith Halliday in “As the World Turns,” and toured the US in theater before becoming a commercial airline pilot. Educated at Friends Seminary and the Northampton School for Girls, Nina lived in New York City, San Francisco, Sharon, CT, and Key Largo. Twice married and divorced, she retired from United Airlines after 22 years with 11 years as a 767 and Airbus Captain. Generous, warm, talented, independent, and courageous, in addition to music and flying, she loved sailing, reading, and dinners with friends and family. Survived by her sister Laurie Kain Hart of Los Angeles and beloved nephew Murdo McGrath, she will be so deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Deborah E. Koffman ’74

Deb Koffman, artist, teacher, loving friend, daughter, aunt, sister, and polka dot aficionado passed away February 10, 2021. We’ll miss her love, her laugh, her genius, her generosity and her presence. These are her words about her life:

I do what I do because I got tired of doing what I was supposed to do – you know, supposed to cry at funerals, laugh at weddings, be hungry at mealtime, sleepy at bedtime. But sometimes I felt like laughing at funerals and crying at weddings…And sometimes I wasn’t hungry for days…And sometimes I wanted to sleep forever…

I spent the first 31 years of my life living by someone else’s standard of what was “right:” my parents, my boyfriends, schools, professional environments -that didn’t work.

I needed some perspective, I needed to know what was right for me. So, I became an “artist” being dedicated to, and inspired by, discovering what is inherently true for me.

I describe to myself how I feel about the world…so when I forget what I’ve learned I can look at a table I’ve painted or an image I’ve drawn or words I’ve written and it reminds me of what I know, of what is true about the world for me.

When I see what I’ve created it touches my heart. It comes from my heart and miraculously it always touches me again. So, my truth is, I do this for me…Because it makes me feel good…lt is my gift to myself. When you see what I’ve done, and your heart is touched…Then we have exchanged presence…

And there is no greater gift to receive. Thank you for your presence.

Thomas J. Garstka ’69

Thomas J. Garstka , 69, of Southampton, MA, died on January 16, 2021 after a short illness. He was born July 3, 1951 in Northampton to Max and Dorothy Garstka. He attended Williston Academy graduating in 1969. Tom was a home builder with his father and brother Dave as Max T. Garstka & Sons for many years. He was a Deputy Tree Warden for the Town of Southampton for 40 years and in his younger years Tom was a member of the Southampton Volunteer Fire Department. He married Donna Syriac on September 7,1975 in the Williston Academy Chapel. In 2003 Tom and Donna started raising pastured poultry and sold their eggs to local stores under the name Cold Spring Chicken Ranch. He also sold firewood for a time as AX Man Firewood.

Tom loved gardening, country music and wearing western hats and boots. He will be remembered for his laughter, many stories about his dad in WWII, and love of the outdoors. He was a member of the Philadelphia Church of God. He served by giving opening and closing prayers. Tom is survived by his loving wife Donna, sons Randy and Paul, brother David and his wife Mary Ann and niece Jillian and sister Susan in Denver, CO. Donations may be made in Tom’s name to Philadelphia Church of God, P.O.Box 3700, Edmond,OK 73083.

Ronald S. Duncan ’49

Ronald “Ron” Stuart Duncan, 91, a lifelong resident of Granby and Simsbury, CT, passed away peacefully on January 30, 2021. Son of the late Stuart and Jessica (Weiant) Duncan, he is survived by his beloved wife of 20 years Janet S. Duncan; two sons, Mark (Diane) and John Duncan; his grandchildren, Jacob, Michael, Matthew and Kyle Duncan; daughters by marriage, Pamela and Joanne; granddaughters, Heather and Marcy; and great grandchildren, Maddie, Blake Jr., and Anna. Having graduated from Williston Academy, he served in the United States Air Force for 4 years. He then attended the University of Vermont and Central Connecticut State University to earn his Master’s Degree in Education. Ron retired after teaching Industrial Arts for 31 years at King Philip Middle School in West Hartford. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Placeda Hall and her three girls, Susan, Kelly, and Kerry, brother-in-law Britt Hall (Daisy), and nephew Shawn. He was predeceased by his sister Charlotte, wife Nancy (Hall) Duncan, brother-in-law Dr. Francis Hall, and niece Traci. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in Ron’s memory may be made to Farmington Canal Heritage Trail or Granby Ambulance Association, 1 Pegville Rd., Granby, CT 06035. Hayes-Huling & Carmon Funeral Home of Granby has care of the arrangements.

Allen P. Doe ’49

Allen Peirce Doe, of Holden, MA, passed away unexpectedly at home on Friday, January 29, 2021. He was born in Springfield, the oldest son of Chester and Lillian (Peirce) Doe and was raised in West Boylston.

He attended West Boylston schools through the 9th grade then transferred to Williston Academy in Easthampton, graduating in 1949. He attended Clark University for two years before he transferred to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, graduating in 1954. After college, Allen proudly served his country with the US Army Combat Engineers in Germany for three years. After being honorably discharged from the service, he worked briefly for Riley Stoker Corp in Worcester and then the New England Forestry Foundation in Vermont. In 1961, he joined the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company as a sales representative retiring in 1990 after twenty-nine years of service. He was a former trustee of High Plains Cemetery in Oakdale for many years. Allen also spent many summers with his family at his camp on Queen Lake in Phillipston where he enjoyed boating, swimming and water skiing. He also enjoyed gardening and working in his yard and was a regular at Donut Kitchen in Holden for many years.

He is survived by his three sons, Paul C. Doe and his wife, Susan of Derry, NH, Robert A. Doe of Boulder, CO and Steven W. Doe of Macedon, NY; his daughter, Adrienne L. Lawrence and her husband, Garrett of Mill Valley, CA; his brother, Kingsley W. Doe and his wife, Janet of South Dartmouth; his sister, Meredith A. Smith of Spencer; his five grandchildren, Garret, Eric and Scott Doe and Devon and Ethan Lawrence; his niece, Deborah Milliard of Charlton; his nephews, James, Andrew, Bryan, Curtis, Jeffrey and Kenneth Doe and Earle Smith. He was predeceased by his first wife, Nancy A. Clark of Worcester and is survived by his second wife, Nancy P. Skillin of Holden and Portland, ME. He was predeceased by his brothers, Ralph ’53 and Gordon Doe.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend calling hours from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 13th in the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main Street, Holden. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, appropriate social distancing and wearing of a mask will be required. Burial will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mechanics Hall, 321 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608, or the White Oak Land Conservation Society, P.O. Box 346, Holden, MA 01520.

Charles C. Savage, Jr. ’61

Charles (Cam) Campbell Savage, Jr. died of heart failure at home in Burlington, VT, January 11, 2021. He was born January 28, 1942 in Schenectady, NY. He moved with his family to Stowe in the early 1940s and remained there for the better part of his life. Cam graduated summa cum laude from Williston Academy in Easthampton, Mass., and from Dartmouth College and Pratt Institute with a degree in architecture. He took time off before graduating from Dartmouth and headed to Hollywood to try his luck at stardom. After a few bit parts in “Gunsmoke” and “The Beverly Hillbillies,” and a brief stint modeling, he decided a college degree was the better choice. Cam designed, built and renovated commercial buildings and private homes throughout his career. He was a creative soul and expressed himself through a variety of mediums. Cam was a lone wolf and took great pleasure in cruising the back roads of Vermont on his various motorcycles. In his youth he played football, hockey and was a wild and crazy skier. The companionship of his dogs and cats over the years gave him solace. In spite of his physical discomfort and challenges, he maintained his sense of humor, avid curiosity and sobriety until the end. He leaves his son, Noah Greer, his sisters Janet and Paige Savage, and his nieces, their husbands and children. Thank you to Cam’s kind neighbors for their help thoughout the last year. In lieu of flowers and cards we ask that you double up on treats for your pets today.

Albert C. Bosworth ’44

Albert (Bud) Calvin Bosworth, 91, of Dartmouth, MA passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on Friday morning, September 21, 2018.
Mr. Bosworth was the owner of Bosworth Insurance Agency, Inc. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.
He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Hazel, and their children, James Bosworth and his wife Donna of Dartmouth, Martha (Bosworth) Thomas and her husband Keith of Newfane, VT, and Thomas Bosworth and his wife Julie of Dartmouth; his son-in-law, Ed Giardina of Hingham; 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was the father of the late Claudia Giardina.
At his request, there will be no funeral services. However if you wish to remember Bud there will be a memorial fund at the Southworth Library, 732 Dartmouth St., Dartmouth, MA 02748.

Robert L. Byers ’57

Robert Louis Byers, 82, of Chalfont, PA died peacefully at home with his family at his side on December 21, 2020. The cause was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Bob graduated from Drexel University in 1965, where he met his beloved wife and lifelong partner in business and philanthropy, Joyce Fritz Byers. An active alumnus throughout his life, Bob later served as a trustee of the university.
Bob was thankful for the opportunity to lead a fulfilling and fascinating life. In 1978, he and Joyce founded Byers’ Choice Ltd., which still makes the famous Caroler Christmas figurines in Chalfont, PA.
Bob worked tirelessly to make the world a better place and served on myriad charitable boards and foundations during his life. In Doylestown, PA, he was a co-founder of Bucks Beautiful, the James A. Michener Art Museum, and the Bucks-Mont Katrina Relief Project. On the national level, Bob was a member of the board of the Salvation Army for 18 years. In his final years, he was active in the leadership of Care In Action, a Fort Lauderdale-based homeless charity.
In 2000, Bob and Joyce received the Caring Institute’s National Caring Award in recognition of their commitment to being “values driven entrepreneurs”, their support for countless philanthropic organizations, and their habit of practicing random acts of kindness in their community. Previously, they were chosen by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Philadelphia Chapter, as Philanthropists of the Year for 1993.
Known to his friends and family for his playful sense of humor, relentless pursuit of adventure, and zest for life, Bob enjoyed extensive world travel, fine wines, antique cars, hunting, and target shooting.
A man of deep faith and member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Bob appreciated at the end of his life that God had played the defining role in all of his accomplishments. He read the essay “How to Know God” that positively changed his life. He hopes you will to. https://howtoknowgod.us
Bob is survived by his wife of 57 years, Joyce; their two sons, Robert Leslie Byers and Jeffery David Byers; their daughters-in-law, Pamela and Dawn; and four grandchildren: Samuel, George, Ashlyn, and Jacob.
A private service is planned.
In memory of Bob’s charitable spirit and penchant for improving the lives of others, the family asks that those who wish to honor Bob make a donation to the Salvation Army or another helping organization of their choice.

William P. Dunk ’56

William Paul Dunk was born in Mount Kisco, NY on March 3, 1938, the youngest child of Leonard and Marie Kennedy Dunk. He died in Chapel Hill, NC on January 2, 2021. The youngest of four siblings, Bill had an upbringing that was anything but ordinary. His father was an agricultural advisor who developed prize dairy cattle herds for notable East Coast families. As a small boy he traveled with his father to visit clients — Doris Duke taught him to use a soup spoon — and a memorable part of his childhood was spent on a Maryland farm where he herded geese in a cart hitched up to his dog. After his parents divorced, his mother became a chief dietician at Harlem Hospital where, he proudly related, she ran the kitchen that produced hundreds of meals daily for doctors and patients. After attending Williston Academy and Edgemont High School, he graduated from The Hill School in 1956. He received a BA in English Literature from Yale University in 1960 and an MA in History from San Francisco State University in 1967. During the Vietnam War he served in the 6th US Army at Fort Ord. His early jobs included elevator operator on Wall Street and barista at Peet’s Coffee and Tea in Berkeley, California. The latter led to a lifelong love of espresso; he was known to drink as many as five in a row during an entertaining conversation. In the 1970’s Bill went to work for and eventually headed Corporate Annual Reports, a New York firm that produced financial publications for Fortune 500 companies. In 1982 he founded William Dunk Partners, through which he advised CEOs in the high tech and health care industries on strategy. For 20 years he also wrote and published The Global Province, a biweekly online newsletter for investors, business executives, journalists and “elitists everywhere.” Although the newsletter focused on business and the economy, it also allowed him to “wrestle,” as he once wrote, “with more things we think about from olive oil to Johnny Mercer to losing weight.” In 1983 he married Courtenay Beinhorn, a food and business writer. They had two children whom he adored: Courtenay Alexandra and Angus William. In a poem he compared them to “birds on the wing:” she “a red-tailed hawk ready to pounce” and he “an eagle who wants to see what’s behind the sky.” For many years the family happily spent part of each summer on Nantucket at Chez Noir, a home belonging to his sister and brother-in-law. Bill was a vibrant, gregarious man who engaged with everyone he met. He was as at ease chatting with a local postal employee as discussing environmental policy with the Prime Minister of Bhutan. His prodigious appetite for food and drink ranged high and low, from foie gras and rare malt whiskeys to BLTs and Mexican Coke. He and Courtenay traveled extensively during their marriage; their trips usually began with lists of restaurants to investigate. He befriended the general managers of his favorite four star hotels , often providing them with “helpful” advice on improving their service. In his later years, Bill took up yoga and qi gong and went for companionable walks with Domino and Nick Charles, his cherished springer spaniels. He wrote poetry, often early in the morning just after waking, scribbling words on whatever paper was at hand. He left behind sheaves of poems in various stages of completion, many dealing with life’s big topics. His passion for old growth forests led to planting offspring of the Maryland Wye Oak around his home in Chapel Hill. Shortly before his death, he gave a grove of trees to the Hill School in honor of Edward Tuck Hall, headmaster at the time he matriculated there. In every way Bill was larger than life. His booming voice, easy laughter and unique humor created an unforgettable persona. Viewing the world from 30,000 feet, his singular talent was for synthesizing ideas from many sources, creating incisive, original, often contrarian insights into the topic at hand, whether in daily conversation, in his poetry and essays, or in the advice he gave to clients. He often put his life well-lived down to “luck;” in truth, it had everything to do with the person he was. Bill was preceded in death by his brothers Leonard and Peter and his sister Deborah. He leaves behind his wife of 37 years, Courtenay Beinhorn Dunk; his son, Angus William Dunk; daughter, Alexandra Dunk and son-in-law Brian Keith; and many nephews and nieces. The family asks that any contributions be given to The Hill School, in honor of William P. Dunk, Class of 1956.

Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community